COVID-19 Update: How We Are Serving and Protecting Our Clients.
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Alabama Lawyers For The InjuredOne employer recently learned a hard lesson — Ignoring FMLA rights for employees injured at-work can get you sued! When people think about work-related accidents and injuries, they always think workers’ compensation. They should. Work comp provides necessary medical care and disability benefits. But, don’t forget the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may also provide important leave and job protections for injured and ill employees.

What Does The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Provide?

What benefits are provided by FMLA? The FMLA provides eligible employees up to 12 work weeks of unpaid leave in a year. The FMLA also entitles covered employees to return to their same or an equivalent job after this leave.

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On April 26, I wrote a distracted driving post discussing changes due to the coronavirus pandemic. In my post, I asked if drivers were really zooming and driving at the same time. It’s hard to believe somebody would attend a zoom meeting while also driving!

Less than two weeks after my post, a real incident made the news. It’s even worse than imagined. The distracted driver was actually a state legislator. And, he was attending a legislative meeting by zoom while driving. You can read my prior post at:

Zooming And Driving? Did The Pandemic Make Distracted Driving Worse?

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Blackwell Law Firm -- Helping Injured Healthcare WorkersSeveral years ago I wrote about one of the most dangerous jobs when it comes to work-related injuries — Nursing. You can read my prior article at, Health Care Workers Have High Rates Of Injury. At one time, a National Public Radio (NPR) study even called nursing “one of the most dangerous jobs in America.”

What about jobs like construction or law enforcement? Those professions have pretty high risks of injury. According to research, back and other injuries occur at much higher rates in nursing than in the construction industry.

Think about it. Nurses are on their feet for pretty long shifts. And, they regularly lift or move heavy patients. How many professions require a worker to routinely lift or move objects weighing over 100 pounds? Not many. Keep in mind — Some patients don’t cooperate which makes the lifting much more difficult. Ask a hospital nurse about moving an uncooperative patient!

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Alabama Accident & Injury Attorneys“He left a voice message yelling at me!” That’s how one injured worker’s story began. “He acted like a jerk.” The worker continued to describe how he suffered a bad lifting injury to his lower back at work. He required surgery. He now suffers chronic pain and limitations. He could not return to work.

Why did his lawyer leave a nasty voice message for him? It comes down to this — The lawyer wanted him to accept a quick settlement. The problem — That settlement was totally unfair and would have left the disabled worker in worse shape a year or two from now.

The guy needed a lawyer who would prepare his case. He needed a lawyer who would discuss how Alabama work comp benefits are calculated, who would develop the medical evidence, and who would prepare the case for the best possible trial. He needed a lawyer in his corner!

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Alabama Personal Injury AttorneysThe Claims Journal recently published an article titled Traffic Returning to Roadways, But Claims Patterns May Shift Permanently. I frequently read the articles on their website — You can learn some fascinating traffic and claim research straight from insurance sources.

The article raises some interesting issues. Will post-pandemic traffic return to pre-pandemic levels? Will the shutdowns from the coronavirus cause lasting changes in our driving habits? Will our roads be safer or more dangerous after the pandemic? We may not fully learn the answers to these questions for months or years.

Some insurance companies are already predicting Americans will drive less on a permanent basis. Other researchers are predicting rush-hour driving will permanently decrease with telework and drivers staggering their trips to different times.

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Untitled-design-2-300x300During the month of April, safety groups focus on the issue of Distracted Driving. Nationwide, April is commonly referred to as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. At our office, distracted driving is a year-round focus. Many of our accident and injury cases involve distracted driving. While most involve a cell phone, not all do.

Has the coronavirus pandemic impacted distracted driving?

During the COVID-19 shutdowns, our roads saw far fewer cars. With school closures and remote workers, morning traffic in Huntsville looked very different. Pre-COVID, traffic coming into Huntsville over Monte Sano was bumper-to-bumper during rush hour. Not so during the shutdowns!

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Alabama Accident & Injury AttorneysAnother driver crashed into you. You are hurt and need help. Maybe you tried to deal with the adjuster yourself but have become frustrated! Maybe the adjuster made promises but now won’t return your phone calls. Should you consult a car accident attorney? I’ve written about that issue previously. If your injuries are minor (nothing beyond the ER) and the other driver is clearly at-fault, you can often settle those claims without a lawyer and save yourself money. The billboard and television lawyers begging for you to call will never tell you that. But, then again, those lawyers leave many clients with nothing in the end. If your injuries are significant (more than just a visit to the emergency room) or liability is disputed, a good lawyer can often make a big difference.

I’ve written several articles on this blog providing tips to help you in choosing the right Alabama personal injury attorney for your case. I won’t rehash all of them in this post. If you want some tips, search my archives.

If you suffered serious injuries, a good car accident attorney may be able to significantly increase the value of your case. If you required treatment beyond the emergency room, missed time at work or suffered a lingering injury, you should definitely talk with a skilled attorney. By skilled, I mean a lawyer who regularly prepares these cases for trial — Not the attorneys you see on billboards or the attorneys who handle everything.

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Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). Sometimes it is referred to as Chronic (or Complex) Regional Pain Syndrome. Either way, it can be a devastating pain condition for patients. I’ve written a couple articles discussing RSD and the disabling toll it has on people. You can read my prior posts here:

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersWhere can I file my workers’ compensation claim? For many people, the answer is easy. Many people work entirely within a single state.

For others, the question brings choices. Maybe you work primarily in one state. But, you were injured while performing job tasks in another state. Years ago, these issues mainly applied to truckers and traveling salesmen. But, now, it’s not unusual for people to work across several different states.

What happens if you work primarily in one state but are injured on-the-job in another? What happens if your office is in one state but you are hurt while present in another? What are the rules for work-related injuries? Where can you file a claim?

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Blackwell Law Firm helps people with serious personal injury claimsOver the last year, we’ve all worried about COVID-19. The pandemic has affected every part of our lives. Family. Health. Work. Social Activities. Many families are struggling with the loss of a loved one. Many businesses and industries have also been devastated. But, one industry seems to be booming around Huntsville. That industry? Road construction.

A quick Google search produces numerous articles detailing the growth boom across northern Alabama. Many businesses and government agencies are planning moves to the Huntsville area. An al.com article in June 2020 notes how Huntsville started the last decade as the 4th largest city in Alabama but is expected to become the largest city within the next two years.

With growth comes increasing infrastructure demands. That means new construction. You can see new hotel and parking deck construction projects all around our office in downtown Huntsville. At its heart, infrastructure means roads. Throughout the Huntsville, Decatur and Athens area, you also see almost constant road construction. Road crews are working to build the additional infrastructure needed for expected growth. These crews have remained busy throughout the pandemic.

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